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Extreme Obesity Significantly Shortens Lifespan

July 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed data from 20 large studies demonstrated that very obese people – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher – were more likely to die young from cancer and a wide array of other diseases and conditions. Six percent of Americans are now classified as extremely obese, i.e., more than 100 pounds over normal weight. In the study, which examined data from 9,500 extremely obese people, the risk of dying overall, and from most major health causes – heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney and liver diseases – rose continuously with increasing BMI. People whose BMI was in the highest range – 55 to 60 – tended to lose nearly 14 years of their lifespan.
C. M. Kitahara et al. , "Association between Class III Obesity (BMI of 40-59 kg/m) and Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 20 Prospective Studies. ", PLOS Medicine, July 08, 2014, © Kitahara et al.
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